Kohei Horikoshi's My Hero Academia is an incredibly popular action manga and anime series, and what has helped it become such a huge hit outside of Japan is the way it combines the influences of Western action comics with Japanese longform manga storytelling. This has resulted in some unique story lines and arcs for the series, and now one viral debate is arguing its strength as compared to American comics.
One My Hero Academia fan's point has gone viral for asking why the series has explored how a charismatic YouTube villain inspired a new generation of foes when that's a situation that could and should have been explored by superhero stories in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
my hero academia is doing an arc about young villains who became ideologically radicalized to follow a hyperconservative killer via YouTube. the fact that this kind of thing is coming from an anime and not like any of the 49 zillion marvel movies continues to blow my mind— Katie Chironis (@kchironis) April 13, 2019
As argued by @kchironis on Twitter, My Hero Academia's Hero Killer Stain story arc is something that could have been done. The fact that it came from an anime series is surprising to them, probably because it seems like such a Western idea. This arc in particular references the fact that Hero Killer Stain made such a big impact with his charismatic ideal chasing that his statement about bringing down the current world of heroes became incredibly popular online.
This went on to make the League of Villains an even bigger threat in the third season, and later sparks another villain trying to compete with Stain for views in the Culture Festival arc of the manga. While this a strong argument as My Hero Academia's long form storytelling allows its stories to have a tangible impact on the stories that follow, it does have a few points working against it.
Horikoshi has taken influence from Western superhero comics for My Hero Academia, and has even revealed those influences through various Easter Eggs in the story and character designs. All Might is a Superman paragon, for example. Stain himself is a reference to the more extreme comic stories in the 1990s, from Spawn creator Todd MacFarlane specifically. This does not detract from the effectiveness of Horikoshi's stories in the slightest, but digging into those influences and drawing comparisons does get to the root of why his work can be so effective.
And while social media has not been explored in the MCU, it has surfaced in various comic stories throughout the years. Nevertheless, this has sparked a larger debate in the My Hero Academia fan community and will get fans thinking about the various strengths and weaknesses of My Hero Academia and Marvel.
My Hero Academia was created by Kohei Horikoshi and has been running in Shueisha's Weekly Shonen Jump since July 2014. The story follows Izuku Midoriya, who lives in a world where everyone has powers, even though he was born without them. Dreaming to become a superhero anyway, he's eventually scouted by the world's best hero All Might and enrolls in a school for professional heroes. The series has been licensed by Viz Media for an English language release since 2015.
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